So the 3rd playtest went happened over the weekend. Skirmish sized game vs Shael Han.
SH: 6 Legionnaires, 1 Legion Keeper, 3 Wrath, 1 Big Sister, 6 Iron Lotuses, Mdm Mui (Army commander), 1 Shield of Taelfon, 1 Fulung Dragon. Motivation: Disrupt Supply Line. Morale: 10. (Made an error and shorted Shael Han by 3 Rank 1 infantry. No wonder they were a bit squishy!).
Dirz: 6 Clones, 1 Biopsist, 7 Crossbowmen, 1 Acolyte, 2 Phemera, 3 Sentinels, 1 Dawn Warrior, Sykho Volesterus (Army commander for his Will buffs), 1 Dasyatis specialist, 1 Aberration Prime Specialist. Motivation: “No Retreat! No Surrender!”
Mana Crystals for Morale bonus in the center.
It all ended up in a wild melee in the center of the board. Need to balance the Mana Crystal bonus so the factions can ignore it and go for their Motivation if necessary. Right now, it’s a bit unbalanced.
First blood went to the Phemera in round 2… in the wrong way! They ran up to the tightly packed Legionnaires and blew themselves up! Managed to do cause 2 wounds… one of which was negated by Healing Vapours, the other by Diamond Wall Stance. Haha!
But it all went south rather quickly. Rather than going for the Supply Dump, the Iron Lotuses tried to take out the squishy Crossbowmen while the Legionnaires kept their bodyguards (Clone Infantry) tied up. They didn’t reckon with Sykho’s Tunic of Blood that made all troops in a 6″ aura gain a Resilience of 2 (instead of the normally squishy 1). The Legionnaires managed to kill some Clone Infantry as well… and ran into Sykho’s Inspire: Fierce. Killed units don’t get removed off the board till the end of the Round! (The markers in the photo below is a reminder to remove the models at the end of the Round). That meant the Biopsist got to use his Anthemis Treatment: after all, the clones were dead any way… they just didn’t know it yet! 😛
The Fulung killed off the Dasyatis from range because I forgot the Dasyatis had Regen. Shael Han was poised to wham the pain hammer on Dirz when the Aberration Prime activated… and wiped out the entire Shael Han left flank!!! He basically had exploding dice and unlimited follow-up kills… which was waaaay too OP as he took out 2 Wrath, 3 Legionnaires, 1 big Sister and 1 Legion Keeper! And despite being within the Shield’s Defensive Insight, managed to skate past the Will Attacks caused by Backlash.
The shocked Shael Han managed to deal 1 wound to Sykho… and finish off another Clone. But despite their squishy stats, their Evasion + Sykho’s Tunic of Blood kept most of them alive. So in the photo above, you can see the entire SH right wing melted away by the Prime, while in the background the Crossbowmen … seeing that the Sheal Han now lacked the troop numbers to do 2 things at once, made a run for the Shael Han “C” deployment zone to fulfil their Motivation.
At this point, I ended the play test.
The Clones: they have very squishy stats, but with the right leader to buff them up, they are surprisingly able to go toe-to-toe with the best of them. Their Shieldsmash (as opposed to the normal Shieldbash) is very useful in tightly packed conditions and they get an actual 1d10 attack off the Shieldsmash thanks to that nasty spike in the middle of their shield.
Crossbowmen: have an Optimal Range on their crossbows that give them extra damage but it’s tricky to use. But if an enemy unit is ever caught out in the open… watch out! (Note: I used the “Cover” rules in the WoK beta rules to account for mass ranged troop fire).
Phemera: useful more as a deterrent, especially for troops that need to cluster together for buffs. Any damage they cause will be a bonus. It’s a tricky balance deciding how many to take. In an Intro game, 2 are just nice. For a Skirmish game, 2 is too few. (Remember because they blow themselves up, 3 dead Phemera = 1 Morale loss).
Sentinels : work as advertised. Heavy infantry with a killer weapon. 1″ reach is all it takes for them to get stuck in to the Legionnaires after traversing rough terrain. Nothing special, no tricks up their sleeves. Just tough heavy infantry (with special armor) with a heavy weapon that can deal damage (with a slight buff).
Dasyatis : good thing I know he works from the last play test as he never got a lick in this game.
Aberration Prime: yikes! Too over powered! I’ve now dialled his attack down. He needs to be positioned more carefully now to take advantage of his follow-up attacks…. which should be less easy to pull off if he’s facing decent Rank 2 enemies, and easy to pull off with Rank 1 infantry.
Sykho Volesterus : man, what a leader! Taking all his abilities from his Confrontation fluff makes him a killer on the battlefield. I’ve dialled him down as well. He can increase units to Resilience 2 in a 6″ aura; let them stay on the battlefield after they’ve been dealt their last Wound, and ups any unit’s Willpower by 1. So he’s a bit like a Warmachine Caster: incredibly powerful, the backbone of the army. But take him out and the entire army falls apart.
So that’s it for my 3rd play test. I’ll go up against Shael Han again with version 0.94 of the Dirz stat cards. This time, I’m taking Hong Yao on as the SH assassin. Let’s see if he can glide in to kill Sykho (and/or Lady Claudia) from behind his screen of protective troops.
Need to test out Lady Claudia as well: she can do the old Warmachine Cryx trick of resurrecting dead models. And a full Battle-size game should see the intro of the Cloning Tank that does essentially the same thing if you can pull the unit out from the battle to send them over to be brought back to life again. (You need at least 1 model left alive in order to be able to do so. A cheesy tactic is send 5 models into battle and keep 1 in reserve next to the Tank, I guess… but that is SO cheesy…) 😛
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